February 24, 2015

Five reasons why I love to blog

Here are my reasons, not in any particular order:

1. It is a great way to de-stress and helps revive my energy. It's particularly pleasant to do this amidst hectic work schedule.

2. I am very opinionated, and blogging provides just the right platform to express whatever I want without tiring people out by talking.

3. You can reach out to a wider audience through a blog than Facebook or Twitter, and only those who are interested can read the post.

4. I like to write, but lack the focus and bandwidth to write a book. The ideal length of a blog post suits me just about perfectly to rant about all sorts of random things.

5. It's like photographs: will have memories associated with it. I think it would be interesting to look back and smile reading what I used to write when I was young.

Happy blogging folks!!

February 18, 2015

A beautiful quote

My dad shared this with me today:

"Each friend represents a world in us, a world not born until they arrive, 
and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born."

I take this moment to thank all my friends who have made my world more wonderful by entwining it with theirs.

February 15, 2015

These are the fairy tales which we should tell our children!!

I came across this link at Hairpin by sheer luck when one day, I randomly typed 'fairy tales for modern women' into Google. What prompted the search was my exasperation with complete lack of popular children's literature which actually gives the image of an independent woman who doesn't keep waiting for Prince Charming to rescue her. I really think it is important for young women and girls to have this image. They need some idol other than Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty whose sole purpose in life lies with finding a Prince Charming. On an aside, I never really understood why such drab love stories are popular as children's literature, because the subject itself doesn't have anything to do with children's age. This article (link) gives a brilliant alternative for our kids, which have to be told to our children and youngsters, to give them sense of what actually is ideal. Please go through (it's a three minute read): If you are a woman, you would be glad that you read these Six Fairy Tales for the Modern Womenlink:

// I

Once upon a time a woman never got married, but had many fulfilling relationships, a job that kept her comfortable, an apartment that she got to decorate just for her, and hobbies that stimulated her mind.
The End. // 
Read more at this link

The following one is my favorite, and has to be told to young men and women alike:

// Once upon a time a woman was approached by a drunk guy in a dark alley, but he was very polite, and explained that he had driven to the bar, but because he was responsible, he didn't want to drive home, but his cell phone was dead, so he asked the lady to call him a cab. She did, and he was grateful, and they said pleasant goodbyes before going their separate ways. // 

Read more at this link

Happy reading!!

February 14, 2015

A long wishlist!!

This is going to be a really long post, and I don't want to hold myself back from penning down anything here. Hope you enjoy reading!! Please do share your wishlist too :)

1) I wish to update this blog regularly. Life has become so busy that it is difficult to get breathing time from the continuous cycle of chores which we do, related to work, to social gatherings, to chores, etc. etc. I really love to blog because it gives me a perfect outlet to express myself.  When I started this blog, I kept a target of posting alteast twice a month to keep this going. One glance at my blog makes it amply clear to everyone that I've never been faithful to this resolution :) There has been a really long gap after I joined my new job in Mumbai. Hope I will be more regular now.

2) Somehow, I feel that writing is 'my thing' - and I wish to write a book or two. Perhaps, I connect to language better than any other form of expression. Even when I listen to music, usually, I attach too much importance to the lyrics. And when I watch dance performances, I need to feel that the movements connect to the words for me to appreciate it. I have three-four ideas going on in my head on what I should write about, but that's going to be another post!!

3) I wish to have the perfect figure to walk around the beach in a bikini. Actually, I've taken inspiration from this post (link) by a very dear friend of mine. And more than a bikini, I wish to be able to wear hot-pants comfortably and walk around everyday. This wish is for real - I see this one as something which is definitely doable. I want to do yoga and take walks regularly for getting my body into the right shape. Now that I have it in writing here, I hope I would make this a regular practice soon.

4) I've always sort of romanticized poetry. I love clever word play and beautiful lines in songs and in movies. Of late, the poetic streak in me has been surfacing often (link). I wrote my first poem when I was 11. Funnily, it was about love, or I thought it was about that, with inspiration from all the cliched things I've heard and read about it around. A week after I wrote it, I thought it was too long and unimpressive. The incurable romantic that I am, I wanted to write a song for my special someone a few years back, and I kept putting it off ever since. Perhaps it is because I wanted it to be perfect and was too nervous to start on it. Also, I realized that I cannot drive this through targets: It should sort of just happen, and I know it is going to. After all, life is very long, and there is plenty of time.

5) I love music; Well, who doesn't?!! I finally managed to get a good collection on my mobile. I had a fetish for singing ever since I remember, and I started liking the sounds of violin in the recent couple of years. I used to go to music classes when I was small, but I had no idea what I was doing at that time. When I was in 11th and 12th, the singing fetish actually showed itself - me and my friend used to listen to songs all the time. Those were the days of walkman - not ipod and mp3 players. I learnt a couple of songs and I believe I have the potential. But I never really tried: The first year when I went to college was one of the  all-time lows in my life where I lost confidence, and I never regained it back to try singing. Even today, I don't even try to casually hum anything except when I am alone. I wish to break out of this zone and learn some of the songs which I love: Lehrein from Aisha, Heera from Highway, Sunn Raha Hai from Aashqui 2. I also want to learn how to play atleast one musical instrument. I know violin is tough, but I like the music so let me try.

6) Dance is something which I didn't have a fetish about when I was a child. My interest in dance was aroused by Nach Baliye 2, which I used to watch when I was in my first college years. I started admiring the art since then, and I became especially fascinated with contemporary style where your body moves freely connecting with the emotions you are expressing through the dance. But I have two left feet in dance and cannot even do simple freestyle footwork properly. My first and only dance performance as an adult was during my first year of work. It was a group performance and I really struggled a lot to try and learn each step. What others would take minutes to learn, I would need hours of practice to do it right, and it still wouldn't come so intuitively to me. I think dance requires tremendous practice and exposure over years, and I don't have either. I cannot learn contemporary without learning freestyle so there is a long way to go. I can never be a great dancer, but I atleast want to be able to do basic steps right, and dance casually when I wish to. Sigh!!

7) I love taking walks in fresh, open air. I prefer walking in the park over treadmill. Ironically, I never get up early but I love early morning weather and the sound of birds. I want to do plan long morning walk treks in picturesque surroundings - one can always manage to do this in early morning, even in metros. Mumbai, especially, even with all the dust, crowds and pollution, is still not short of greenery, much to my relief and happiness. Accompanied with music on your mobile, it is a great way to vent out stress and reinvent oneself, a perfect way to reflect and meditate.

8) As cliched as it may sound, I wish to travel across a lot of countries and see beautiful places. My first trip abroad was a family trip to Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia: My dad was really proud of finally arranging for a 'foreign' trip :) I had many amazing first-experiences during that memorable trip. Later, one of my biggest travel fantasies came true in the form of honeymoon trip to UK, and I fulfilled my dream of visiting the land of Jane Austen and Harry Potter. In India, Kashmir is on the top of my wishlist, followed by some specific architectural places like Ajanta-Ellora and temples in South India. Internationally, my fascination with Europe prevails and Italy, France, Switzerland, Greece, Austria, Belguim are on the top of the wishlist.

9) Keeping with my resolution to not hold myself back from writing anything in this post, I am penning down my romantic desires too. I have an amazing life-partner and we share a really special bond. Yes, we do go on long drives to marine drive, exchange surprise gifts, kiss each other good-bye everyday before going to office, go on vacations, have our occasional special moments and all that. Somehow, our hectic work schedules push the spontaneity and surprise elements to the back-seat. It been really long since I saw that look on his face with his jaw dropped on meeting me for a date. We go out for dates together now, I'm often tired to get dressed up after coming back from office, and there are umpteen factors. My dream is to go on a spontaneous, unplanned romantic getaway where I can see that look again and re-work the magic :) Shhhh!!

10) As with most people who grew up in an Indian middle class family, working abroad meant a big deal to me when I was a kid. Due to some reason or the other, it has been put off till now - I didn't grab the chance at the right time, and then I had to switch jobs to relocate to Mumbai, and now I work for a firm which operates only out of India. Now, working abroad doesn't represent that 'prestige' which it used to imply when I was a kid. It means something different now - splendid solitude, time-off, managing on my own, staying in some beautiful, foreign land. All this may be romanticizing it too much, but as a woman, I somehow feel it is a very important experience to have: Probably, it means proof that I can manage independently anywhere.

11) One whose exposure in literature is limited to Jane Austen, Harry Potter, LOTR & Sherlock Holmes cannot claim to be much of a literature geek. I just read whatever I enjoy reading, all sorts of books. I started reading Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg on a flight and it helped me a lot - I guess I will finish it soon. PG Wodehouse works were in the pipeline since a while: I've read some of them, but I lent the collection which I had to someone else so they are on hold for now. I ordered Kenneth Anderson omnibus because of my fascination with wild life but I never managed to read more than a couple of pages :P I want to start reading some good poetry: Hang on there, not the Shakespeare kind, I like simple style and I want to start with pleasant works. Any suggestions on what I should start with?

12) I want to adopt a girl child. This is an affirmative 'want', and not just a 'wish'. Me and my husband have discussed this, but it is too early to take a certain decision as we are not planning for kids in the next 3 years. I guess we will manage to work out the details when the time comes.

13) I love food, like really 'love' :). Cooking at leisure is a great stress-buster. My busy schedule and lazy habits hardly allow me time for this, but I manage to experiment in the kitchen on rare occasions as you can see from my blog (link, link). I almost nailed biryani, gajar ka halwa, stir-fried vegetables, veg-fried rice and vegetables with soy-schezwan sauce. What I want to get started with is microwave cooking. I want to try making New York Cheesecake some time. I am not a desert person but cheesecake is an exception. From South Indian cooking, gutti-vankaya koora, dosakaya pachadi, karapoosa are some dishes which I wish to try making. Food list will go on forever if I continue so I'll put a hard stop to this here :)

14) Since childhood, I was never interested in sports. I used to prefer indoor games to outdoor, hated P.E.T classes and hardly did any physical exercise. Naturally, I used to come last in every running race which I participated in (only because participation was mandatory) and get myself out first in every kho kho or current - shock game that I was forced to join. I didn't understand the importance of sports and physical exercise then, not that my parents didn't try though. Poor my, what could they do? You can only drag a horse till the lake, you cannot make it swallow water!! Now I wish I paid more attention to sports. I made a resolution in college that I when I have kids, I will encourage them to learn atleast one sport and one art form, to let them have a balanced exposure. I wish I could play atleast one sport for fun - I guess badminton is the easier pick!!

Phewww.. That was a really long post and it is amazing to finally put it all together here. Some day, when I am old, I wonder what it would be like to look back at this post and think about what happened to each wish. Go ahead now, and make your own wishlist!! I would love it if you post it in comments here.